(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 4814

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4814. And it came to pass in this time. That this signifies the state of the things that follow, is evident from the signification of "time," as being state (see n. 2625, 2788, 2837, 3254, 3356, 3404, 3938). That it is the state of the things that follow, is signified by its being said "it came to pass in this time," for what came to pass is related in what follows. Moreover, the things which follow in a series flow from those which precede, for in the preceding chapter it is said of the sons of Jacob that they sold Joseph, and that Judah persuaded them to do it; of whom it is said in that chapter, "And Judah said unto his brethren, What gain is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites" (verses 26, 27), whereby was signified that the Divine truth was alienated by them, especially by Judah, by whom is there signified in the proximate sense the tribe of Judah, and in general the depraved in the church who are against all good whatever (n. 4750, 4751). This is referred to by its being said "in this time," for the subject now treated of is Judah, and his sons by the Canaanite woman, and afterward by Tamar his daughter-in-law; and by these things in the internal sense is described the tribe of Judah in respect to the things of the church instituted with that tribe.
[2] That by "time" is signified state, and hence by its "coming to pass in this time," the state of the things that follow, cannot but appear strange; for the reason that it cannot be comprehended how the notion of time can be changed into the notion of state, or that when "time" occurs in the Word, something relating to state is to be understood. But be it known that the thoughts of angels do not derive anything from time or from space, because they are in heaven; for when they left the world, they left also the notion of time and space, and put on notions of state, that is, of the state of good and truth. Wherefore when man reads the Word and then thinks of time and of the things belonging to time, the angels with him do not perceive anything of time, but perceive instead the things that are of state, which also correspond thereto. Neither does man in his interior thought perceive time, but only in his exterior, as may appear from the state of man when his exterior thought is lulled to rest, that is, when he is sleeping; and also from various other experiences.
[3] But be it known that there are in general two states, a state of good and a state of truth. The state of good is called a state of being, but the state of truth a state of coming into existence; for being is of good, and the derivative coming into existence is of truth. Space corresponds to the state of being, and time to the state of coming into existence. Hence it may be seen that when man reads "and it came to pass in this time," the angels with him can by no means perceive these words as man does. So likewise in other instances. For whatever is written in the Word is of such a nature that with angels it is turned into a corresponding sense, which does not at all appear in the sense of the letter; because what is worldly of the sense of the letter is turned into what is spiritual of the internal sense.


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